> Spirituality and religion are not the same things -
> although we are not likely to have a discussion of one
> without the other. To me, spirituality simply means a
> felt need to be in harmony with some higher order of things.
IMO, "spirituality" in the environmentalist community is a derivative of
christianity, with a vaguley defined Telos, Entelechy or Universal-Mind-Soul
in the place of God. Despite the "deep ecologists" over in the corner, most
of what I hear on Sanet seems to be part of the general (primarily social)
progressive vision of the enlightenment, a christian derivative. Values
like equity, freedom, and health dominate the discussion. It seems quite
> We have to conform to some higher order of things rather
> than bend and twist nature to things to fit every whim.
This is a statement of the natural law ethics of the movement. The "higher
order of things" is the putative guiding hand of Nature (God substitute),
and the law is written in the biosphere as opposed to stone tablets. The
difficulty IMO, is that reading the "Law" is difficult in practice, and many
people do so through the lense of idiosyncratic social theory. This
contributes to the anthropocentricity.
> Sustainability ultimately is about intergenerational equity -
> to meet the needs of the present while leaving equal or better
> opportunities for the future.
YES! THAT, is a good definition of sustainability. But it still isn't a big
help in the exegesis of natural law.
> Most seem to agree that sustainable systems must be
> economically viable, ecologically sound, and socially
Everybody from the heads of Dupont and Monsanto on down would agree with
that statement. The devil is in the details, and it depends on how you
interpret natural law, and whether you buy into the concept of natural law.
> We are concerned about ecological "sustainability" only if we
> have some felt need to live in harmony with some higher order
> of things - if we are spiritual.
What about physicalists (those who do not believe in the existence of a
"higher order") but nevertheless do care?
> If we do not believe in a higher order, or do not feel a need
> to find harmony with it, there is no logical reason to be
> concerned about whether or not people thousands of years from now
> will have opportunities equal to or better than we have today.
Are you familiar with E.O. Wilson's view that altruism is instinctive, honed
by group selection? He is a physicalist and former evangelical christian.
Can ethics derived from apparent evolution of altruism (another reading of
nature) form a basis for sustainability (intergenerational sense)?
To Unsubscribe: Email email@example.com with the command
"unsubscribe sanet-mg". If you receive the digest format, use the command
To Subscribe to Digest: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the command
All messages to sanet-mg are archived at: